Rabi Ray

ICT Board Chairman Richard Gere, former President of India R. Venkataraman, Rabi Ray and His Holiness the Dalai Lama at ICT’s Light of Truth award ceremony honoring the people of India in New Delhi on December 18, 2002.

Mr. Rabi Ray, a noted Indian political leader and former speaker of the Indian Parliament, passed away on March 6, 2017 in India. He was a true friend and supporter of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and the Tibetan people.

Mr. Rabi Ray involved himself with several Tibet-related organizations in India, including heading the India-Tibet Friendship Society. He was also a member of the International Campaign for Tibet’s International Council of Advisors.

Mr. Ray did not shy away from speaking his mind when he thought the Indian leadership was straying away from the historical support to the Tibetan people. In June 2003 when the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee included a controversial reference to Tibet in the joint declaration during his visit to China, Mr. Rabi Ray issued a strong rebuke. In a statement on June 2, 2003, he said, “The Prime Minister of India by accepting Tibet as a Part of territory of China has utterly failed to serve India s national interests and thereby trying to legalise the illegal occupation of Tibet by the Chinese 54 years back.”

When ICT Board decided to honor the people of India with its Light of Truth Award for the critical assistance to the Tibetan people for more than four decades, it felt appropriate to request Mr. Rabi Ray to represent them at the award ceremony. The Dalai Lama presented the Award to Mr. Ray at a function in New Delhi on December 18, 2002.

“No nation or individual has helped the Tibetan people in their time of need more than India and the people of India. India’s assistance and support is unparalleled,” said Richard Gere, Chairman of the Board of the International Campaign for Tibet then.

“Under the leadership of His Holiness the Dalai Lama and with the compassionate support of the people of India, the Tibetan people have been able to rebuild both their secular and monastic institutions so that Tibet’s distinctive identity could survive and flourish,” Gere added.